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Junkers Ju 52/3M

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Luftwaffe personnel bestowed the name 'Tante Ju' ('Aunt Ju') upon Hugo Junkers' three-engine transport design as a gesture of faith in the slow, but strong and reliable aircraft. Ju 52/3ms formed the backbone of German airlift capability throughout World War II, delivering thousands of troops and tons of supplies to European theatres. Suffering heavy losses, it was often the strength of the aircraft that carried it through a mission.

First flown in April 1932, the Junkers Ju 52/3m was the culmination of Junkers' vast experience in building single-engine civil transport of all-metal construction with their characteristic load-bearing, corugated skin.

Originally a single-engine design, the Ju 52/3m was intended primarily as a freighter. Deutsche Lufthansa took delivery of 230, equipped as airliners; many were exported.

From 1932 the covert establishment of the Luftwaffe was beginning and in 1934 the first military version, the Ju 52/3mg3e bomber appeared. Ju 52s seldom, if ever, performed in this role during World War II (though a number had in the Spanish Civil War). The type will be remembered as a transport.

Active from the first days of the Blitzkreig on Poland, the aircraft flew in every European theater in a number of versions, though, with two exceptions, these differed only in detail.

The float equipped Ju 52/3m Wasser alighted on fjords during the Norwegian campaign to disembark troops and equipment, while the Ju 52/3m(MS) was fitted with energized dural hoops, which were used to explode Allied mines.

Tactical transport remained its primary role, however, a role in which the lumbering 'Tante Ju' suffered huge losses but served widely and with distinction.


Junkers Ju 52/3M

The Junkers Ju 52/3M 18-seat military transport The Junkers Ju 52/3M flying to Crete
Luftwaffe Ju 52/3ms prepare for a supply dropping sortie in support of the Afrika Korps. Float-equipped Ju 52/3ms were active in Norway and the Mediterranean. Access to the aircraft was gained via a ladder.

Junkers Ju 52/3M (Technical Specification)
Role 18-seat military transport
Manufacturer Junkers
Maximum Speed 295 kmh (183 mph)
Ceiling 5,500 meters (18,050 feet)
Maximum Takeoff

6,546 kg (14,432 lbs)
10,493 kg (23,133 lbs)
Wing Area

29.24 meters (95 ft 11 in)
18.80 meters (61 ft 8 in)
4.50 meters (14 ft 9 in)
110.46 square meters (1,189 sq ft)
Engines Three BMW 132T-2 nine-cylinder air-cooled radial engines each providing 619-kW (830-hp)
Armament Three 7.92 mm (0.31 in) machine gun one in dorsal postion and two mounted to fire abeam through the side windows

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